Half (48 per cent) of Canadian employers say they feel pressure to meet diversity, equity and inclusion requirements when hiring new candidates, according to a new survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of Express Services Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 500 employers, found two-thirds (65 per cent) said they prioritize candidates aged 30 and younger, followed by candidates who identify as female (63 per cent), LGBTQ2S+ candidates (49 per cent), persons with disabilities (46 per cent) and candidates from the Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities (43 per cent).

Read: Survey finds 53% of U.S. workers say DEI a key factor when searching for new job

While the majority of employers said they understand working parents face challenges in the workplace, they’re more likely to acknowledge this for working mothers (75 per cent) than fathers (58 per cent).

“Diversity isn’t just about ticking boxes — it’s about embracing a kaleidoscope of perspectives, experiences and talents,” said Bill Stoller, chief executive officer of Express Services, in a press release. “In a diverse workplace, ideas flourish and companies thrive.”

Read: 72% of business leaders increased investment in DEI over past year: survey